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Phulsagar Amruta Savta. Int.

Journal of Engineering Research and Application


ISSN : 2248-9622, Vol. 6, Issue 10, ( Part -4) October 2016, pp.80-87
RESEARCH ARTICLE

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OPEN ACCESS

A Study of Reduction in the Vibrations of Steering Wheel of


Agricultural Tractor
1
1
2

Phulsagar Amruta Savta, P. H. Jain2

Department of Mechanical Engineering, TPCTs College of Engineering, Osmanabad 413501.


Department of Mechanical Engineering, TPCTs College of Engineering, Osmanabad 413501.

ABSTRACT
Steering wheel vibration is one of the major factor in determining the operators comfort in an agricultural
tractor. Over the past 20 years automobile quality and consumer perceptions and demands have been an
increasing part of the vehicle engineering process. This project deals with study of vibration related issues in
steering wheel of tractor. The design and analysis of steering system plays a major role for determining the root
cause for the problem. Main sources of steering wheel vibration are found to be engine imbalance, resonance of
steering system, lesser damping, road / field induced vibration. Steering vibration study was conducted on
various tractor models and one tractor was identified for improvement. Upon detailed analysis on that particular
tractor, it was found that the resonance of steering system with engine excitation is the root cause for excessive
vibration. Various methods such as shifting the natural frequency away from the second order engine frequency
and increasing damping coefficient to reduce the vibration amplitude at resonance are considered to reduce
vibrations due to resonance. Axial damper concept is used for vibration reduction. Analysis is done in Matlab
Simulink with two degree of freedom model with base excitation.
Keywords: Steering wheel, vibration, dampers, frequency, resonance, amplitude.

I.

INTRODUCTION

The term hand arm vibration indicates the


vibration from power tools. This vibration occurs
due to shocks and movements of power tools.
Recently using light weight material the weight of
agricultural tractor is reduced. The operator of
tractor undergoes whole body vibration transmitted
through seat, feet and floor and hand arm. The
important thing is to minimise the vibration,
because the vibration disturbs blood circulation in
fingers and neurological functions of hand and arm.
This is known hand arm vibration syndrome
(HAVS). Vibration causes uncomfort and failure of
various parts of tractor. Tractor Operator undergoes
two types of vibrations; one is whole body
vibration transmitted via seat, foot and floor ; and

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the another is hand vibration transmitted via


steering wheel and hand control knobs
To prevent the adverse effect of vibration
two strategies are used as follows;
I) Controlling vibration at excitation source.
II) Isolation of vibrations in transition path by
taking appropriate action.
In these two strategies the I) viz.
controlling vibration at excitation source is the best
option. Many times, the vibration reduction
objective also comes with other constraints of
product design like packaging, design simplicity,
product development lead time etc. So that this
subject have great importance.
In India 13% of the total occupational
deaths are due to hand arm vibration syndrome

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Phulsagar Amruta Savta. Int. Journal of Engineering Research and Application


ISSN : 2248-9622, Vol. 6, Issue 10, ( Part -4) October 2016, pp.80-87

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If this condition is left untreated, it becomes progressively worse; it becomes irreversible, and in extreme
cases can lead to very serious problems, such as gangrene.

Fig: Effect of HAVS


Objectives
To measure the vibration level produced in
steering of agricultural tractors.
To find out the different sources of vibrations.
To study ambient excitation produced in the
steering.
To do vibration analysis of steering wheel of
tractors using analytical and experimental
ways.
To simulate the model in Matlab containing
the various parts e.g. steering box, steering
column, steering wheel.
To reduce the vibrations produced by using
different vibrations reducing techniques.

II.

METHODOLOGY

Vibrations of steering wheel in some


determined power range is compared and specific
tractor is selected for study and development.
Following methodology is adopted in this work.
1. In specific power range make a comparison of
vibrations on different tractors.
2. Choose one tractor for study and development.
3. Determination of main cause of vibrations.
4. Experimentation and analysis of results.
5. Constructing mathematical model of vibrations
in steering wheel and simulation in FEA
software.
6. Sorting the differences in present and
improved work in design.
7. Making comparison of computed and
measured vibrations.
Vibration Reduction Techniques:
After taking vibration measurements and
identifying problems, next task is to fix them. This
usually means suppressing by modifying the
structure to eliminate the unwanted vibrations
effects. There are many methods available for
vibration suppression which includes source
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isolation, absorbers, damping treatment and active


suppression. The examples that follow show
techniques of vibrations suppression in rotating
equipment.
Isolation:
Treating the source of vibrations is the
most effective and often most economical solution
to vibrations problems. The rotating unbalance may
cause the entire structure to vibrate. This can be
solved by balancing the rotor and eliminating the
vibrating source. Another method of isolation is to
add highly damped material between the source
and the structure. For example, automobile engines
have larger rubber mounts to isolate the chassis
from engine.
Absorbers:
Often, in the situation of a noise or
vibration problem which is caused by a resonant
condition, it is not practical to reduce noise or
vibration levels through isolation techniques alone.
A vibration absorber is simply a mass-springdamper system added to the structure and tuned to
the same frequency as the offending vibration. The
mass-spring-damper system resonates and vibrates
with large magnitudes. Thus eliminating or
reducing the vibration transmitted from the rest of
the structure and reducing the structure and
vibration transmitted to other parts of the structure.
Standard practice in the automobile industry is to
use tuned mass dampers or vibration absorbers to
reduce the vibration of many mechanical and
structural systems. The problems with the passive
dampers are that they add considerable weight to
the system and are only effective within the narrow
band of frequencies. ATA offers the opportunity to
considerably reduce the vibration of a mechanical
device in a wider band of frequencies while using
less weight.
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Phulsagar Amruta Savta. Int. Journal of Engineering Research and Application


ISSN : 2248-9622, Vol. 6, Issue 10, ( Part -4) October 2016, pp.80-87
Measurement of Vibration level in tractor :
It is known that vibrations entering the
hand contains contribution from all these
measurement direction. The measurement was
taken in three directions X i.e. vertical, Y i.e.
longitudinal and Z i.e. transverse axis respectively.
Initially tractor was parked on a rough
surface. Engine was started. The readings were
taken at steering box and steering wheel. Then
tractor was driven in rough surface with varying
speed and readings were taken at both locations.
Experimental Procedure:
Stage I:
It is known that the vibration entering the
hand contains contributions from all three
measurement directions. Therefore, measurements

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are made in all three directions as shown in


Figure6.1.The Xh, Yh and Zh axes are termed as
vertical, longitudinal and transverse axes
respectively. The tractor was parked on a rough
road surface and the engine was started.
Measurements were taken with the gear in neutral
position. Initially, the engine speed was increased
from idling to various speeds slowly and steadily
over a period of 2-3 minutes and the measurements
were made. The vibration was not significant at
low speeds and it became significant only after
certain speed. This was done considering the scarce
availability of testing resources. At each engine
speed, vibration was measured for a period of 3040 seconds and stored in the computer for further
analysis.

Fig: Accelerometer mounting at steering box

Fig: Accelerometer mounting on steering wheel(running)


Figure shows the measurement setup for
the vibrations measurements. The accelerometer
was mounted on the steering box as shown. The
accelerometer was mounted with the help of wax.
The accelerometer was mounted on the steering
wheel of tractor. Figure shows the top view of the
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mounting location of the accelerometer. Vibrations


are transmitted from the engine to the steering box
and then from steering box to the steering wheel
via steering column. Hence, the piezoelectric
accelerometer is mounted on the shown location. It
gives the maximum transmitted vibration level.
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Phulsagar Amruta Savta. Int. Journal of Engineering Research and Application


ISSN : 2248-9622, Vol. 6, Issue 10, ( Part -4) October 2016, pp.80-87
Measurements and Readings
All reading at steering wheel at running condition:
The vibrations are transmitted from engine
to steering box and then transmitted from box to
steering wheel. Hence it becomes necessary to

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study the vibration level at the steering box. The


accelerometer was mounted on the steering box and
acceleration, velocity and displacement. The
readings taken for further analysis

Fig: Acceleration readings at steering wheel in running condition


Figure shows the acceleration level at the
steering wheel when the vehicle is at running
condition. The rms readings in all three directions
are used to calculate the vibration exposure level at
the steering wheel. The graph shows the levels in
the y and z directions are dominant compared to the
vibration level at neutral condition.

Steering box vibrations when vehicle is in


running condition
Tractor works in fields on road rough
surface. The tractor is driven at speed of 15km/hr.
It is found that the vibration level found was much
higher as compared to the vibration level at the
steady condition.

Figure: R.m.s. values in X direction


Above figure shows the rms values of
acceleration in x-direction when the vehicle is in

running condition on rough road surfaces. The


maximum rms value obtained is 1.732 m/ 2

Fig: acceleration Y_rms vs time when vehicle is running


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Phulsagar Amruta Savta. Int. Journal of Engineering Research and Application


ISSN : 2248-9622, Vol. 6, Issue 10, ( Part -4) October 2016, pp.80-87
Above figure shows the rms values of
acceleration in Y-direction when the vehicle is in
running condition on rough road surfaces. The

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maximum rms value obtained is 9.127m/ 2 . The


vibration in Y-direction are dominating than in Xdirection.

Figure: Acceleration Z_rms at running condition


Above figure shows the rms values of
acceleration in Z-direction. The maximum rms
value obtained is 0.0623 m/ 2 . It is much lesser
than in X and Y direction
Stage II
This is second stage of experimentation.
In this stage the use of measured values of the
acceleration and frequency from the selected tractor
were studied. The peak and rms values of
acceleration, velocity and displacement were
chosen and input is given to the electrodynamic
shaker machine. The whole steering system was
mounted on shakertop plate with the help of
designed fixture. the inputs were given and by

giving all specified inputs, the shaker was operated


The vibration level was measured with the help of
accelometer described in section. following graphs
shows the reading taken from the shaker machine
experimentation.
The steering system was
mounted on the shaker machine with the help of
designed and specified mounting dimensions. The
peak values of the acceleration that are taken from
the sample tractor were recorded and given as the
input to the electrodynamic shaker machine. The
input values of peak vibrations at the steering box
and steering wheel are given input to the system.
The dampers were mounted between the steering
system and mounting plates.

Fig: steering system is mounted on shaker machine


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Phulsagar Amruta Savta. Int. Journal of Engineering Research and Application


ISSN : 2248-9622, Vol. 6, Issue 10, ( Part -4) October 2016, pp.80-87
Figure shows the setup for the
experimentation of the steering system on the
electro dynamic shaker machine. The exciter,
steering system is shown. The accelerometer is

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located at the same location where the readings on


the actual tractor are taken to obtain the maximum
possible transmitted vibrations.

Fig: Experimental setup on shaker with damper


Figure
shows
the
mounting
of
accelerometer
on
steering
wheel.
The
measurements taken are used for analysis purpose.
Similarly, damper was mounted on the steering

system at the mounting position. As the vibrations


are transmitted from the steering box to the steering
wheel, it is necessary to measure the vibration at
steering box also.

Fig: Reading of Accelerometer at steering wheel at running condition


Above graph shows the rms values of the
acceleration, at the steering wheel in all x, y, z
directions when the vehicle is in running condition
on rough road surfaces. The maximum rms value

obtained is 3.7 m/ 2 , 2.7m/ 2 , 1.7 m/ 2


respectively

Fig: Reading of Accelerometer at steering box at running condition


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Phulsagar Amruta Savta. Int. Journal of Engineering Research and Application


ISSN : 2248-9622, Vol. 6, Issue 10, ( Part -4) October 2016, pp.80-87
Above graph shows the rms values of the
acceleration, at the steering box in all x, y, z
directions when the vehicle is in running condition
on rough road surfaces. The maximum rms value
obtained is 4.18 m/ 2 , 2.8m/ 2 , 2.7 m/ 2
respectively
Vibration analysis
Vibration analysis at steering wheel and steering
box on actual tractor:
An exposure points system simplifies the
risk assessment procedure. The exposure point
values equivalent to the action and limit values in
the current guidance are as follows:
Exposure Action Value of 2.5 m/s A (8)
Exposure Limit Value of 5 m/s A (8)
All of the dig-team operatives are likely to
exceed the Exposure Action Value of 2.5 m/s A
(8). However, none of the operatives are likely to
exceed the Exposure Limit Value of 5 m/s A (8)
when using the measured equipment for the
reported usage times.
For steering box:
With reference to these graphs high peak r.m.s.
value in X, Y, Z direction are as follows.
X = 1.6142 m/s, Y = 9.0352 m/s, Z = 0.0643 m/s
Vector Sum
As per standard vector sum is find out are as
follows
=

1.61422 + 9.03522 + 0.06432

Vibration Analysis of the steering wheel and


steering box with the use of dampers:
Steering wheel
After use of damper the vibration exposure values
at steering box
X = 3.8 m/s, Y = 2.3 m/s, Z = 1.8 m/s
Vector Sum
As per standard vector sum is find out are as
follows
=

A (8) = 9.17

5400
28800
2

A (8) = 4.03 m/

For steering wheel


X = 1.61 m/s, Y = 6.6 m/s, Z = 5.9 m/s
Vector Sum
As per standard vector sum is find out are as
follows
=

1.612 + 6.62 + 5.92

= 8.99 m/ 2
A (8) Daily Exposure
As per Eq. No. 1.3 Daily Exposure is find out are
as follows
A (8) = 8.99

3.82 + 2.32 + 1.82

= 4.74 m/ 2
A (8) Daily Exposure
As per Eq. No. 1.3 Daily Exposure is find out are
as fallows
A (8) = 4.74

5400
28800
2

A (8) = 2.06 m/

At steering box
X = 4.18 m/s, Y = 3.8 m/s, Z = 2.7 m/s
Vector Sum
As per standard vector sum is find out are as
follows
=

4.182 + 3.82 + 2.72

= 6.26 m/ 2
A (8) Daily Exposure
As per Eq. No. 1.3 Daily Exposure is find out are
as follows
A (8) = 6.26

= 9.17 m/
A (8) Daily Exposure
As per Eq. No. 1.3 Daily Exposure is find out are
as follows

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5400
28800
2

A (8) = 2.74 m/

III.

RESULT AND DISCUSSION

Using FFT analyzer measurements were


taken on steering of tractor.After providing damper
fig shows the vibration level on steering wheel and
steering box. After measuring the vibration level on
steering wheel and box it is analyzed and the
acceleration and frequency spectra were obtained.
It is observed that acceleration value of the steering
wheel which is about 3.3 m/s2 and after providing
isolation it is reduced to 2.7 m/s2.. It is found that
with frequencies greater than 25 Hz the operator of
power tools may experience greater muscle's /
tissues fatigue and symptoms of musculoskeletal
disorder when working with extended arm posture.
Hence when using damping the frequency value
decreased upto 10-15 Hz which is comfort zone for
hand arm according to the ISO 5349 - 1:2001.

5400
28800
2

A (8) = 3.89 m/
.

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IV.

CONCLUSION

Agricultural tractors have been identified


as a hazardous machine from the aspect of the
whole body vibrations. There is a risk even for
those drivers who are exposed to vibrations only
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Phulsagar Amruta Savta. Int. Journal of Engineering Research and Application


ISSN : 2248-9622, Vol. 6, Issue 10, ( Part -4) October 2016, pp.80-87
one hour a day. There are many negative medical
effects resulting from drivers being exposed to
vibrations. When the influence of vibrations is
short-termed, the symptoms are short breathing,
nausea and disturbed balance, whereas long-term
influence causes disorders in psychometric,
physiological and psychological systems. Although
well-known world manufacturers are dedicated to
reducing vibrations, most of the worlds tractors
are 20 and more years old and do not meet basic
ergonomic requests. Here, the effects of vibrations
are especially evident. This is why it is important to
measure vibration levels constantly, evaluate them
and determine the risk for drivers safety .It has
been found that among the different operations
selected for the study, the level of hand arm
vibration acceleration varied from 4.1 to 3.1 m s-2.

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[9].

Monarca D., Biondi P., Cecchini M., Santi


M., Guerrieri M., Colantoni A., Colopardi
F., Transmission of vibrations from
portable agricultural machinery to
theHand-Arm System (HAV): risk
assessment and definition of exposure
timefor daily action and exposure limits
,International Conference: September 1517, 2008 Ragusa Italy
[10]. Craig
Lewitzke
and
Ping
Lee,
Application
of
Elastomeric
Componentsfor Noise and Vibration
Isolation in theAutomotive Industry,
SAE TECHNICALPAPER SERIES 200101-1447
[11]. Ping Lee, Ali Rahbar, Active Tuned
Absorber
forDisplacement-On-Demand
Vehicles, SAE 2..5-01-2545

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